One of the most promising home-based business you can do at present is dog breeding as many pet lovers demand rare and quality breeds in Kenya and all over the world.
Recently, I met a businessman who is into it. When he started breeding dogs for sale, he did not set out to make thousands of dollars in profit. He wanted to do something he enjoyed that would pay his bills. But some few years down the line, he is all smiles as he counts the fortunes from his business, thanks to the growing pet culture.
But how do you start a dog breeding business? Do you just buy a male and female dog, let them mate and then sell the puppies? This is what I found out from the businessman, hopefully, these information can help you get started into dog breeding business. The requirements are as follows:
#1 Generally, you must love dogs.
If they seem beastly to you then you have no right to do business with man’s best friend. It is also important to note that dogs have that “scent” which should be okay with you. Furthermore, since you plan on breeding, then you have to be willing to handle the mating and birthing of your dogs which can be “nasty” at times, if you know what I mean.
In general, if you don’t mind your dog sleeping beside you in bed and you have no problems with them licking you all over the face, then you should be okay at the very least.
# 2 Do research
Yes, it’s important that you know the different breeds of dogs that is, their history, genetics, pedigrees, characteristics and temperament.
In addition, you should also be informed in the proper health care, breeding and mating techniques of dogs. There are so many resources out there and it won’t be difficult to find them, the real question is are you patient and committed enough to learn?
If all checks out so far, then you are ready to start the business. Technically, the very first thing you should do is to decide the specific breed you want to focus on. Choose the breed that appeals to you most, and start from there.
Once you’ve decided on the breed, then your next general steps would be to:
- Learn all about that specific breed (history, characteristics, proper care… and more).
- Study the market for that breed. How much is it selling? Who’s buying them? How popular is it compared to other breeds? plus many more
- Prepare your finances. Have enough capital not only to buy one or two dogs, but more importantly, a budget for dog food, vaccines and veterinary care. Also consider the expenses for registration and marketing. It’s a business therefore prepare a business plan
- Depending on the breed, you should be able to accommodate at least two dogs at the start and if possible, a space for a puppy nursery.
- Lastly, buy the dogs, if you don’t have one already. According to the Kenyan businessman, dog breeds are imported every once in two years to improve on the quality of their breeds mainly from Germany and the Czech Republic and it is expensive. This justifies selling a puppy of three to six months old from $ 590 to 3290
How much you can earn from dog breeding depends on so many factors but below are some general estimates on your possible income:
- One can recover his costs of buying and caring with three or four puppies. This depends very much on the type of breed, if you get a rare color or a champion breed, selling one or two puppies can earn you good profits already.
- In providing virile services, the costs of caring for your male dog can be sustained by this. If your dog has a good record of successful mating, more people will get him and you can make modest and constant profit from it.
If you are just starting out, then you can simply do it as a freelance endeavor. After some time, when your kennel begins to grow, then you can register it as a business. However, from the very start, you should already have and properly file the veterinary records of your dogs, specially the shots it already had. And most importantly, the dog’s registration paper.
Traditionally, dogs are preferred animals largely for security purposes. Therefore, the main buyers of dog breeds are security firms or large companies which want to tighten their security measures. Currently, security firms have shifted to another business line that includes training clients’ dogs at a fee alongside training their dogs for lease purposes.
For example, G4S Kenya’s main business is to acquire the best dog breeds and train them then lease them to clients. The company acquires puppies at the age of six months for between $ 470 and $ 756 and trains 20 to 30 dogs monthly which are then leased out to both corporate and individual clients.
Are you interested in buying a German Shepherd puppy?
Below are some of the know-hows and questions to ask when buying this breed:
- What is your impression of the dogs?
- Are they good looking?
- How is the kennel and the compound? are they hygienic
- How are the puppies? Are they confident, playful, happy and well-fed. If you are happy with what you have seen, then proceed and ask the below questions:
- Ask to see the profile of the parents and inquire also about their physical characteristics
- Ask if they are registered and certified by East African Kennel Club. This should either be a blue or white official registration. To confirm the purity of the breed, ask to see the parents pedigree certificate.
- Ask if the dogs have had they hips x-rayed. German shepherd dogs are prone to hip dysplasia (HD). If they have been x-rayed each will have an official Kennel Club certificate. It is recommended that only dogs with a hip score of 20 and below should be used for breeding.
- Ask about the hip score of the parents. If it is more than 20 or not known then think twice before purchasing the puppy!
- Ask about the feeding menu, the schedule, clinical assessments such as deworming, vaccinations, supplements
- Ask when the bitch (mother) had her last litter. It is recommended that the mother have only one litter per year for health of both the bitch and her puppies. A breeder/ seller cannot register more than one litter per year from the same mother with the kennel club so buyers beware!!
- Ask about the registration of the puppies. If they have been registered by East African Kennel Club, then the breeder should provide the below documents:
a) A Kennel club registration certificate (blue or white).
b) Four generation pedigree certificate (generation history)
c) Transfer of ownership form
Note: If the puppies have not yet been registered then the seller or breeder should explain and give you clear information how to go about it and the costs. If not, then look for a genuine breeder.
Hip dysplasia is a disease of the hip and it is particularly common in large breed dogs. It affects the normal range of movement of the hip joints and eventually causes arthritis to your dog.
It is a very painful condition and there is no cure for this condition. It is too risky to buy a German shepherd puppy whose parents’ hip condition is not known.
If you are investing your money to keep a German shepherd dog or you want to improve your breeding stock either as an individual or a security company, you are wasting your money and training time if the dog has hip dysplasia.
Be sure that both parents of your puppy have been hip-scored. Some sellers/breeder will tell you that their dogs have no hip problems. The only surety is an x-ray to diagnose the hip dysplasia.
Besides the above aspects, do not compromise on these physical features of a real German Shepherd dog. More on German shepherd puppy care, I am sure you will love reading How to take care of your puppy in the first 2 days
How to Get City Council Dog License (Kenya)
Keeping a pet dog in Kenya is never complete until it is licensed by the city council, as there are always fears of your dog(s) being impounded if it and/or they have no proof of a license.
In Kenya, the dog license is a tiny square aluminum plate the size of a coin, with details on the dog’s number and the year of validity. It has a slot at the upper end through which it is attached to the dog’s collar so that it hangs in its neck and walks wherever with it. The dog owner is left with a receipt as proof of payment in case the dog lost its metal license and there is need to prove that it was licensed.
To qualify for a license, the dog must have a complete vaccination certificate, meaning the dog should have been vaccinated fully and proof of the vaccination card attached to the request. On average rate per dog is KES 500/= no matter the age, sex or breeding status.
For example, Nairobi city council dog licenses come up for renewal annually, meaning they expire at the end of every year. There are several options to make your payment. The easiest and most preferred way is the dog’s vet, most of whom renew them for a small fee, while others do it for free. Expatriates can check to see if your Embassy will get the licenses renewed for you. If you are a paid up member of the East Africa Kennel Club you can drop the fee and vet records there. It takes a week or thereabouts for the City Council to process them.
If you plan to go out with your dog for a long drive or journey, remember to not only have its license attached to the collar, but also the receipt from the council to avoid getting on the wrong side of the law.
Ensure you vaccinate your dog and have it licensed to make it easy for you to walk or drive around with it without the risk of being impounded.